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Fruit-growing Stations.-The county does not support a fruitgrowing station of its own, but contributes to the National Fruit and Cider Institute, and permits the county instructor in horticulture to act as adviser respecting the fruit department there (see page 73).
Training of Elementary School Teachers.-Saturday classes were held and courses of practical leasons in Nature study conducted by the staff instructor in agriculture. The total attendance was 108. A summer vacation class in botany, with special reference to agriculture, was also held, and 27 pupils received instruction.
Organisation. The work is conducted partially by the above county staff instructors, and partially through the Harper-Adams Agricultural College (see page 52).
School or College. The above-mentioned college receives an annual grant from the County Council, and several scholars are also maintained there. A grant is also given to a Secondary school with an agricultural bias.
Agriculture.-Instruction is given in this subject by means of lectures and demonstrations. In all 64 lectures were given at six centres to an average audience of 35. Much interest was displayed in these lectures, and at some of the centres several courses had been given in previous years. As will be apparent from the above figures, the courses now usually consist of from eight to ten lectures. In one case, however, a course of 20 lectures was held, and was attended on the average by 18 pupils, nearly all of whom were young farmers. In several cases, too. the lecturer has been fulfilling engagements of three years' standing.
Field Experiments.-Thirteen manurial experiments were carried out on ten farms on grass land, mangolds, potatoes, and swedes. These experiments are devised solely for demonstrational purposes for the benefit of the local farmers, and all manures are purchased, analysed, and sent out ready for use by the Harper-Adams College.
Experimental Farm.-The work on the farm attached to the Harper-Adams Agricultural College is conducted for the benefit of this county together with Shropshire.
Dairying. The county maintains an itinerant school at which instruction is given in the making of butter and soft-cheese. The school visited 14 centres each for ten days, and there was a total attendance of about 150 pupils. The season was a most successful one for this school. There was no lack of centres, more butter being made in the county than formerly.
Scholars who require additional information are sent to the Midland Dairy College at Kingston.
Poultry Keeping.-Instruction is given in this subject by the instructor in horticulture. Three lectures were given at each of three centres to an average attendance of 53. Advice was also given to farmers and cottagers as to the selection of the most useful breeds for various purposes.
The poultry-keeping industry is largely followed in the county, good markets for both eggs and poultry being within easy reach.
Bee Keeping.-Instruction is given in this subject by the lecturer in horticulture. Lectures were given at five centres to an average audience of 43, the number of lectures varying from one to three at each centre.
The County Education Committee also makes a grant to the Staffordshire Bee-keepers' Association towards the salary of an expert who visits bee-keepers and gives demonstrations.
Farm Hygiene.-Instruction in this subject is given through the Harper-Adams Agricultural College. Ten lectures were given at each of six centres and 12 lectures at another centre. The farmers attended these lectures in good numbers, and much interest was taken in them.
School or other Gardens.-There were 65 attached to Day schools, and the number is rapidly increasing. Of these, 64 were worked on the collective plot system, whilst one was worked on the dual plot system. The number of pupils receiving instruction at these gardens was 910. These gardens are now divided into three groups, according to merit, only those of exceptional merit being placed in the first class. Of these there were as many as 11, while 42 were placed in the second group. The instructor in this county has always favoured the collective plot system, believing that with a plot of 500 or 600 square yards at each school the boys are more under control, while a greater number can be accommodated than under the single plot system, a greater variety of produce can be grown, and this in larger quantities. In fact, the collective plot is treated as a model cottage garden.
In addition, there were 29 Evening school gardens at which 348 pupils received instruction. There were also two gardens attached to Secondary schools.
Fruit-growing Stations.-There is one in this county with an acreage of about 2,800 square yards.
Training of Elementary School Teachers.-Provision was made for giving instruction in horticulture at a Saturday class. Specimens were used for demonstrations at as many lessons as possible. These consist of stocks and scions for grafting, and of various plants to illustrate the different forms of growth. The class was attended by 22 teachers.
Organisation. The work is conducted partially through the above staff instructors, partially through Cambridge University (see p. 27), and partially through the Eastern Counties Dairy Institute (see p. 71).
School or College. The Agricultural Department of the University of Cambridge receives a small annual grant from the County Council.
Agriculture.-A lecture was given at one centre through Cambridge University to an attendance of 80.
Field Experiments.-There are two permanent experimental stations maintained by this county. One is on a light soil in the south of the county, and has been in existence for a number of years. The other is on a heavy clay soil in the central portion of the county, and was acquired in recent years to supplement the results obtained at the former station. This latter station is of particular interest, especially as regards the effect of slag, as the land when taken over was practically derelict, and the herbage now on the unmanured plot hardly contains any grass at all. Both stations are under the scientific supervision of the Agricultural Department of the University of Cambridge. The results obtained at each are of value and the farmers of the county visit them in considerable numbers and take much interest in them.
Experimental Farm.-The experimental farm attached to the Agricultural Department of the University of Cambridge is maintained for the benefit of this county, together with others in East Anglia.
School or College.-The Agricultural Department of Cambridge University receives a small annual grant from this county, and use, as mentioned below, is also made of the Essex County Technical Laboratories and the Agricultural Institute in Bedfordshire.
Agriculture. Two agricultural scholarships, value £15 each, are offered annually, tenable either at the Agricultural Institute, Ridgmont, or the winter School of Agriculture at Chelmsford, for the purpose of enabling young men, who already have some knowledge of practical farming, to attend special courses of instruction at one or other of these institutions.
Field Experiments.-These were conducted through Cambridge University. Various tests were made on four farms.
Experimental Farm. The experimental work on the farm attached to Cambridge University is carried on for the benefit of this county, together with others in East Anglia.
Dairying. This work is done through the Eastern Counties Dairy Institute. The itinerant school from this Institute visited two centres each for ten days, and instruction was given in butter and soft-cheese making to a total of 30 students. In addition, four scholarships, value £10 each, were given for a five weeks' course at the Institute.
Poultry Keeping. This work was done through the Eastern Counties Dairy Institute, Ipswich. A course of three lectures was given at each of two centres to an average attendance of 20. In addition, two scholarships, value £5 58. each, were given for a three weeks' course at the Institute.
Bee Keeping. Three lectures were given at each of three centres.
Farm Hygiene.-The Committee offers competent instruction in the subject of the management of live stock, and the diseases affecting them, but although the attention of Farmers' Clubs, &c., has been called to this, no advantage has hitherto been taken of the offer.
Horticulture.-Courses of four lectures were given at nine centres to an average attendance of about 21. Great interest is taken in this subject, and the lectures are always well attended.
School or other Gardens.-There were seven gardens attached to Day schools in this county, and all were doing very satisfactory work.
Training of Elementary School Teachers.